Lively discussions on obesity prevention strategies at the PREPHOBES research projects’ Midterm meeting

On September 22nd, the coordinators and several partners of the PREPHOBES research projects (EndObesity, GrowH!, I-PREGNO and SO-NUTS) gathered in Brussels (and online) to present the status and results of their projects after 18 months runtime. They were joined by members of the PREPHOBES Steering Committee and of the HDHL Management Board, Scientific Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory board. It became clear that all four projects have made nice progression and the synergies between the different projects led to enthousiastic discussions on the different strategies. Below we highlight some of the projects’ results that were presented during the meeting. Do you want to know more about the current PREPHOBES projects’ results and activities? On this page you can find more details and a list of published manuscripts per project.


The EndObesity project aims to develop, implement and evaluate innovative, multi-disciplinary strategies for prevention of childhood obesity by targeting family-based lifestyle factors in the preconception period, pregnancy and early-childhood, covering the first 1000 days of life. The EndObesity consortium characterized family health behaviours patterns in the preconception period and during pregnancy related to the development of childhood overweight. They saw that a family-based health pattern defined by high parental BMI, smoking and sedentary lifestyle, before and during pregnancy, was associated with a higher childhood BMI in children aged 5 to 12 years. 

In a large meta-analysis with data from the EndObesity partners, a prediction model was developed for childhood obesity using readily available maternal and paternal preconception characteristics. The model will be further improved by including additional maternal, paternal and infant factors, obtained during pregnancy and early-childhood. 

The EndObesity project disseminates research findings to future parents via an EndObesity Instagram page.


GrowH! uses the most recent longitudinal research results on risk factors and novel participatory intervention approaches in youth to develop and test better targeted and more effective primary obesity prevention strategies.

The GrowH! consortium developed an obesity risk score that identifies children/adolescents at high-risk of becoming obese over a period of 4-6 years, based on a comprehensive set of 34 behavioural, environmental, familial, lifestyle and physiological risk factors. They concluded that the age of 9 to 11 years seems to be a sensitive time window for the adoption of unfavourable behaviours.


The objective of the I-PREGNO consortium is to prevent unhealthy weight gain and body composition during pregnancy and in the postpartum period in vulnerable families (e.g., families on state benefit, single mothers). The project has finished the phase of developing the App and counselling interventions. The counselling revealed that the target group would prefer a couple- and family-based intervention and would value professional support. Content-wise the intervention should focus on clear nutrition and PA guidelines and on improving self-regulation skills.


SO-NUTS aims to prevent obesity, sarcopenia, and sarcopenic obesity in retirement using digital personalized interventions for healthy nutrition and physical activity for seniors. The SO-NUTS consortium created the first phenotype for sarcopenic obesity and important steps for the validation of the phenotype are made. The first low-fidelity prototype of the SO-NUTS application was built. It enables the use of various behaviour change techniques such as goalsetting and action planning. It offers clients to track their dietary intake and physical activity, goal setting, evaluation, communication with health professionals and in the future with members of the community.